The alarm went off at 2:45am. I climbed out of bed, walked over to the bathroom, and splashed cold water on to my face. I changed into my day clothes, taking care to put on extra layers. At a few minutes after 3am, we left the house and walked to the Bruderholz tram stop in the freezing cold. Thank heavens for the extra layers.
When we got to the tram stop, I couldn’t help but smile. The tram was full. At 3am on a Monday morning. There were no seats left, and people were standing. We got on and squeezed past the standing passengers towards an empty spot by the window. I looked around; parents with their young children, elderly couples, grandparents, teenagers; the entire neighbourhood was here. Some were in costumes, others were in plain clothes. Almost everyone had their Blagette pinned onto the lapel of their jackets. Nobody looked sleepy or drowsy, not even the kids. The lady standing next to me had even taken the effort to make herself up: foundation, mascara, lipstick – the works. Dedication, I think to myself. Or vanity and insecurity? It didn’t matter. Everyone was there for the same reason: Morgenstreich.
There are a lot of things you could do on a cold, mid-winter Saturday morning. Going to the zoo is one of them.
Because if you do, you get to see this:
“Make sure you don’t end up on one of these,” said a man to his son, as I was wheeled past them on a stretcher.
“Don’t look don’t look,” a lady cautioned her children.
I couldn’t help but chuckle. I wanted to tell them that I was fine; that it appeared more serious than it really was.
I was wheeled down the long tunnel-like passage of the Sunneggabahn as people walked past me in the opposite direction, on their way to the slopes. Some of them stared, while others looked ahead and pretended not to notice. I don’t blame them; I would have done the same had I been in their shoes. It wasn’t a comforting sight: I was lying down, my entire person bundled up and strapped up tightly in thick blankets and a tarp-like material. I couldn’t move. My left knee was slightly bent and propped up with a foam pad. I wasn’t in pain. I felt perfectly fine, apart from the fact that I couldn’t straighten my left leg.
In the industrial quarter of Zürich, the arches of the railway viaduct house various independent boutiques, cafés, and trendy furniture shops. Markthalle (the indoor market) has lovely artisanal food stalls, and a restaurant which opens 7 days a week (seriously? In Switzerland???). Not quite Brooklyn, but this part of Zürich has hipster written all over it.